Wally Shilts was a very experienced PPG pilot from New Paris - Ohio.
He just loved to fly. In less than one year he logged well over 100 hours in his new Airfer Tornado. During many of the PPG events he attended, Wally always impressed me with his high precision low altitude maneuvers.
During the last Illinois PPG fly-in he arrived late.
It was noon and all the pilots were on the ground. Wally spread out his Silex. I was amazed. When I asked him what he was doing, he simply answered: "I am going to fly."
I asked:"In the middle of thermals?" He just gave me a humble answer:" Well, I will try.." ...and he was gone for over an hour...
Wally Shiltswas a mechanically inclined pilot. He had many new ideas that he wanted to implement to increase safety on different machines.
Here, we present his first material he submitted to the Inventions Page.
I belong to those PPG pilots who enjoy long flights.
On all the machines I previously owned there was always a problem for me: not enough fuel. I needed an auxiliary fuel tank.
For a longer time, I have been looking for a solution.
I got the idea of how to feed the main tank by coincidence. Early in my Airfer Tornado experience, the check valve on the main tank vent line got blocked, or shut off by accident.
Upon landing, Bruce Brown
) and I found out that the main tank had almost collapsed due to the vacuum created by having the vent line plugged. As the fuel level went down, there was no air to fill the vacuum. I reasoned that if there was enough vacuum created to collapse the tank, surely it would be enough to draw fuel from an auxiliary tank.
The beauty of the whole thing is that even if somehow an airleak occurs, either through the main tank gas cap or the fuel line connection somewhere between the spare tank and the main tank, you still have the fuel, and the spout to fill up with. Just land and refuel. No tools needed at all. And other than pulling the vent line off the main tank and reattaching it to the spare tank, there's no alteration to the original motor at all. Just pull the line off the spare tank, secure it to the frame, undo a couple velcro straps, and you are back where you started. In addition, if everything is working right, the spare tank empties first. On my first flight using this hook-up, I had been in the air for 55 minutes and my main tank was still full.
I found the gas cans at a Speedway gas station and noticed that they were just the right size for my application.
I use the pouring spout for support for the gas line in order to get the end of the hose at the bottom edge of the tank.
I drilled a hole in the storage cap the same size as the fuel line, put the hose through the hole, then pushed the brass fitting into the end of the hose. This makes a pretty air-tight seal around the hole to prevent gas leakage.
Basically that is all. We just connect the other end of the hose to the existing vent on the main tank, and to strap the tank to the frame. I used velcro strapping.
Now that I know the idea works I will improve the strapping a little for easier installation and removal.
Editor's note: Wally Shilts tragically died in a PPG accident a few years ago at the Ohio PPG fly-in.
His memory will never die in our heart.
Alex L. VARV